Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Iowa Straw Poll Voting Machines in Question



National Expositor Exclusive – Yesterday, Ernest Hancock, candidate for Arizona secretary of state spoke with Mary Tiffany, communications director for the Iowa state Republican Party. During the conversation, Tiffany confirmed that there will be no manual recount for the Iowa straw poll that occurs on Saturday. [Emphasis mine]This weeks Iowa straw poll is to take place using the same Diebold electronic voting machines that have come into question in recent days. In an article in the Washington Post, Debra Bowen, California’s Secretary of State made the decision to withdraw approval of future use of the Diebold systems. “All of the voting systems studied had serious design flaws that have led directly to specific vulnerabilities, which attackers could exploit to affect election outcomes," Bowen explained.

Computerworld, this week reported that Florida’s Secretary of State, Kurt Browning also withdrew approval of the same Diebold voting systems. “In a letter sent to Diebold Election Systems President David Byrd on Tuesday, Browning said that vulnerabilities cited in the report must be fixed by Aug. 17 or the vender’s certification would be denied.”

Both Florida and California in one week have decertified Diebold’s electronic voting machines. This should send a clear message to Iowa’s GOP that anything other than paper ballots would be unacceptable in this weeks straw poll. The Republican party of Iowa may claim that they will be doing manual checking of the Diebold systems, however, it is commonly known that this manual count would only consist of spot checks of the voting machines for device calibration purposes. This does not constitute a verifiable check of accuracy from either an engineering or statistical perspective.

Based on the same evidence that has forced California and Florida to decertify electronic Diebold voting machines it is not only reasonable to request a manual count of the votes in Iowa, but highly advisable. Anything short of a verifiable paper count will be unethical.

Iowa Republican Party - (515) 282-8105

Please be polite but firm in your stance that there needs to be at least a manual recount of the vote at the Iowa Straw Poll. This could be the end of Ron Paul's campaign!

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